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Chow Mein (Chinese Noodles) Recipe

Easy Chinese Chow Mein - quick, delicious and healthy recipe that is MUCH better than takeout. Learn how to make it |

Chow Mein (Chinese Noodles) Recipe

Easy Chinese Chow Mein – quick, delicious and healthy recipe that is MUCH better than takeout. Learn how to make it |

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


8 oz. steamed chow mein (Chinese noodles)
2 oz. pork (cut into thin slices)
5 shrimp (shelled and deveined)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 stalks scallions (cut into 2-inch length)
Salt to taste

Soak the steamed chow mein in cold water for about 5 minutes. Rinse a few times until the water turns clear and the chow mein is soft. Drain the excess water and set aside. (Don’t over soak the chow mein or the noodles will get limpy and soggy.)

In a small mixing bowl, mix all the seasoning ingredients. Set aside.

Heat up the wok with the cooking oil. Add in the chopped garlic and stir-fry until light brown or aromatic. Add the pork and shrimp and stir fry until they are half done. Add the shredded cabbage and carrot into the wok and do a few quick stirs. Add the noodles , the seasoning mixture and the water. Continue to stir until the noodles are well blended with the seasonings and completely cooked through. Add the chopped scallions, do a few final stirs, dish out and and serve hot.

Steamed Chow Mein
Steamed Chow Mein pictures (5 of 5)

Chow Mein is the most popular recipe on Rasa Malaysia. This Chow Mein recipe was originally published on August 19, 2008. Updated with new photos. 

Chinese invented the noodles and changed the way we eat, that’s not an overstatement. As a Chinese, noodles and rice are something I can’t do without. I use Chinese noodles a lot in everyday cooking and can’t even begin to think how my culinary experiences would have been, if noodles were never invented.

Chinese noodles are versatile and there are so many ways to prepare them—stir-fry, pan-fry, boil, blanch, soup, gravy, or dry. I could never get bored of noodles. It’s one of the easiest foods to prepare at home, and the end results are always satisfying.

Chow Mein (Chinese Noodles)

One of the most popular Chinese noodles in the US is chow mein or literally “fried noodles” (炒面) in Cantonese dialect. Chow mein is also a favorite Chinese take-out item. Some shredded vegetables, some protein—either chicken, pork, beef, seafood, or combination—and you will have a perfect chow mein that is cheap, filling, and sinfully gratifying. Yeah, I am talking about that grease at the bottom of the chow mein.

Making chow mein or any Chinese noodles at home doesn’t have to be complicated, if you know which noodles to buy (which according to many non-Asians, it’s the toughest part of it all). I have to say that the varieties of Chinese noodles available in the market are rather overwhelming; however, if you narrow down your selection, things would get a lot easier—and manageable. So, let’s start with chow mein, which is also the name used for fresh noodles.

I did some research over the weekend and found that there are two kinds of chow mein sold at the market: 1) steamed chow mein (pictured below), and 2) pan-fried chow mein. They are practically the same Chinese noodles, but the latter tends to be dryer and hence it’s for pan-fried purposes. I prefer steamed chow mein.

Steamed Chow Mein

Now that you have narrowed down your Chinese noodles selection, the cooking process is really easy. In Asia, chow mein are mostly cooked with bean sprouts, but I noticed that fried noodles served at Chinese restaurants in the US usually come with shredded cabbages and carrot, which are great, too.

For the protein, you can use any meat or seafood or any combination of your choice. Chicken chow mein is always safe with most people, but combination is always pleasing and exciting.

Try my chow mein recipe and I bet you will become a Chinese noodles expert in no time. You might also like my sesame noodles recipe.

Other popular Chinese recipesBroccoli Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Egg Drop Soup, Kung Pao Chicken, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Lettuce Wraps, and more.

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99 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Keropok Man

    My favourite noodles are ‘bee hoon’. I love chow mi fen :-)

    Salivating at the so many types of ingredients you have in the noodles!

    • Biswajit Debnath

      I’m replying from my common sense and my ideas-
      “Stir fry” means frying with less quantity oil such that, if you don’t stir while frying the will get burnt at one side and will remain uncooked on the other side. Here the food gets heat directly from the cooking pot.
      “Pan fry” means to fry food submerged in hot oil. Here the food gets heat from the oil, not from the cooking pot.
      Have a nice day!

  2. PenangTuaPui

    halo…. so sad….. why so sad?

    I wonder i shud come more frequent…

    as your site start to influence me to start cooking with your recipe…

    too many tempting food and may be we are the one that know our taste buds the most…

    hmm… let me think think la…

    sometime tummy take over everything…. hahahaha

  3. Azni

    Iv been wanting to learn how to make chow mein with that extra oil. i know its bad (the oil part) but i know im gonna love your chow mein recipe. thank you!

  4. Passionate Eater

    RM, I am going to give you a gold medal for all of these great Chinese posts. Thanks for teaching us all about Chinese culture and food.

  5. diva

    the joys of chow mien which i hardly eat anymore. right then, i’ll be preparing this for my weekend lunch. thanks for reminding me that every Chinese has a mien-bone in their body ;) x

  6. diva

    the joys of chow mien which i hardly eat anymore. right then, i’ll be preparing this for my weekend lunch. thanks for reminding me that every Chinese has a mien-bone in their body ;) x

  7. ChichaJo

    I should be making more Asian noodle dishes…I found a great source for Chinese noodles here (homemade!) :) Will be saving this recipe…thanks for sharing it!

  8. Ella

    Gorgeous – but I have to agree with Keropok Man, chow mei fun is a down-home favorite. Any fun (no pun intended) ideas for chow mei fun variations? I’ve been obsessively making a version of singapore fried noodles / chow mei fun. I’ve been scouring your site for good fried noodle recipes — my latest obsession, so I love this series you’re doing.

    – Ella

  9. Marco

    You make your chow mein recipe easier than i thought it would be. It definitely looks so much better than the ’empty’ chow mein version at the restaurants here.

  10. Anonymous

    I’ve tried the recipe, but it didn’t come out as delicious looking as the picture. I think the problem lies in the fact that I boiled the noodles instead of steaming it as stated in the recipe. Will it make much of a difference? Anyway, the end result was bland tasting noodles. Another thing is 8 oz of noodles seem to be terribly a lot, don’t you think so? My noodles appeared to be so much more in comparison to the prawns, chicken and vege. I wonder if there’s anyway that I can improve my cooking method.

  11. Rasa Malaysia

    Anonymous – you shouldn’t boil your noodles first. I used “steamed chow mein” but the chow mein weren’t really steamed. It’s just marketed as steamed chow mein. If it’s bland for you, add more seasoning. If you prefer more veggie, chicken and prawns, feel free to add more. Hope this helps.

  12. Few years back when I was in US, I was quite surprise to know that Chow Mein is a popular food among American. Love the creative design of Chow Mein takeaway box but still prefer the taste in Malaysia :)

  13. Hey this is a really great recipe, I love cooking so right now I’m just just trying recipes out of my league and i really love this one. Thanks for sharing.

  14. lee mitchell

    as a western chef running a kitchen in beijing with all chinese staff i always get grief off the guys for making local dishes in the western/wrong way. however, all the dishes i have made from this site get the thumbs up off the guys on my team. great stuff

  15. Susie

    Stumbled upon your site while searching for a Chow Mein recipe. It was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be and turned out great! Thanks for posting it, I can’t wait to try out more of your recipes. :)

  16. lynn

    thanks for the receipt, mines turned out great!! i added red and greed bell peppers. I wish we could add pics on the comment so i can show how mines turned out.

  17. rouba

    hi if we want to replace wine viniger to normal viniger is it and any other ingredients that contain wine ok &sometimes we can’t find all the soya souce what other souce do u advise me & can u show as which is the frid noodles with pictures thanks a lot

  18. elite

    i dont like cooking for many peoples.only a few is ok . anyways thanks for recipes i like chow mein too much , i’ll try one day.

  19. Nik

    Thank you! I have been trying to make noodles like these for a couple of years and last night I did it thanks to this recipe. I did use my own sauce but next time I’ll try this one. Oh, and I actually used a couple packages of Ramen (without the seasoning) for the noodles because that’s what I had and it worked nicely.

  20. Kerrie

    I have the same question as Lui. I’d also like to know if you can recommend some brand names, there are so many to choose from.

  21. Kerrie

    I went to the Asian market and asked for the “steam” chow mein noodles, they took me to the refrigerator section, which took me my surprise. They also refer to these as “fresh” noodles. Glad I got that figured out. Thought I’d share my discovery in case anyone else out there is Asian noodle illiterate.

  22. Gail Erb

    I’d so love to make this, but I can’t find these noodles. Markets near my house are Safeway and Whole Foods. They have those crispy noodles in the can, and they have many different Ramen type noodles. I did not find steamed chow mein, however. Can you give some more hints about where to find these noodles?

  23. The food looks absolutely stunning and my mouth is actually gathering water just looking at the picture of your dish. this is one other dish of yours i will also be cooking.

  24. Shirley Thien

    I’ve tried various brand of noodles in Malaysia and nothing close to the ones I’ve eaten in the US Chinese restaurant. Is dry egg noddles good enough to make a decent chow mein? Thanks!

  25. Bev Lamont

    Is there a substitute for oyster sauce? I have unfortunately developed an intolerance for it, so I feel ill after I eat anything that has it as an ingredient.

  26. Barbara

    Great recipes! Have tried many times to cook Asian food with inconsistent results. Found your website by accident 3 days ago and am on my third dish. Great flavors, simple cooking method. Thank you so very much. Added bonus: my kids like it, too!

  27. neil

    please send me your recipes on my email address. haven’t had a chance to try anything because i just started to learn computer. thank you.

  28. rosemary

    Find it impossible to find a really good Chinese restaurant in my town. Also have not found a good prepared Chinese food in supermarket. Looking forward to trying at home.

  29. Brandon M

    It is rearry good! I ruv chow mein! When I order two number B I arways enjoy my chow mein. Ruv Chinese foo!!!

  30. Rich Akasaka

    How many servings does your chow mein recipe make? I’m planning on trying it out for my mom’s 65th birthday party and there will be about 30 people there.

  31. Mike Delepine

    I’ve been following you for at least a year and never been disappointed with your great cooking style. The only other person to come close to you is Chef John.

    • Molida

      Richard, I’ve seen refrigerated “steamed” chow mein noodles that you just dip in boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes at asian grocery stores.

  32. Corbet

    Hi Miss Malaysia, thank you for sharing your work with us all. I done your sweet and sour yesterday, was great and now i`v just finished two bowls of your Chow-Mein ` fantastic` the local takeaway is no where near as good so i suppose i`ll not be going back now. Its so easy. I`v just started cooking Asian food a few month and wished i`d done this years ago. Really excited about what i`am going to try next.

    I did not have any Shrimp,Cabbage or Scallions at hand so i added disced red and green Bell Peppers,Bean-spouts,Shallots and Petits Pois.

    Sitting amazed at watching my son eat his dinner without complaint, he`s a very fussy eater when it comes to vegetables, so a big thank you from our family.

    God bless and take care


  33. Albert Martinez

    Dear Miss malayasia, I have brousse some of you dishes and so far they look great. I’m sorry to say that in trying to sign up things got messed up and now I can’t do anything. How do I unsign up so I can ty again. Please help, I’m not computer litterit. Thank you, Beto

  34. Diyana

    Hi, may I just ask…the recipe is for how many ppl to eat?
    Apologies as I’m not sure how to measure, i’m a newly wed newbie at cooking

  35. Steven

    My wife is a great cook and the other night she attempted to make chicken chow mein which turned out okay but we were both a little disappointed with the outcome. I just happened to come across your website and have a quick question to ask. Instead of pork, can one use chicken instead? If so, then this would allow us to alternate each time we wanted to make the recipe. From all the comments I have read it sounds like this recipe is a keeper!

  36. zach

    hi Ms. Malaysia Im so in love with chinese cooking i want to open my own restaurant here in cleveland, ohio do i hire a cook and were do i look for help any advice will be helpful thank you.

  37. Rae

    Rasa, I have a few questions. .. Is Black Soy Sauce the same as double Fermented Soy sauce?? AND… I purchased a few different Noodles….but they all say to boil them first, then drain them good…. should I just soak them in hot water for a few minutes? Then use them in the chow mein? Up here inn Montana, we only have one Asian store, I got some Noodles there that were called Canton Noodles… have you heard of those?
    Okay, sorry for all the questions… lol I have ordered many of my sauces and seasonings on Amazon…

    Thank you, Rae

    • Hi Rae, black soy sauce is also called dark soy sauce it’s not double fermented soy sauce. For noodles, canton noodles are fine and follow the instruction and then use them to make chow mein, but you might want to slightly under cook the noodles since you are going to stir-fry them.

      Now that you have all the sauces, you can buy my cookbook “Easy Asian Takeout” to make all recipes:

  38. Fenando @ Ginger biscuits cookies

    I love Chinese food over anything else.. Thanks for sharing this recipe..It looks delicious.

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